MIDUS Study participants were asked: "Using a 0 to 10 scale where 0 means 'no thought or effort' and 10 means 'very much thought and effort,' how much thought and effort do you put into the sexual aspect of your life these days?" I calculated the mean scores by race/ethnicity and sex:
* significant higher than all American males combined
Mexican Americans and blacks exert the most sexual effort, and Amerindian males the least. The gap between Mex-Ams and Amerindians is almost three-quarters of a standard deviation (sd)--a large difference.
Among women--possibly of greater interest to this audience--Polish Americans put the most thought and effort into sex, while Mexican Americans devote the least. The gap between these groups is one-third of an sd--a moderate difference.
Among ethnic groups, Mexican men and women have the biggest effort gap--makes me wonder if there is some conflict there. Jewish men and women, by contrast, have similar means. You wouldn't think there was much compatibility there from what Jewish men tell me.
The overall gender gap is about a third of an sd--a moderate difference. It's no surprise that men put more effort into sex even among a sample of largely middle-aged people.
I can't resist an anecdote. Recently, an elderly Mexican-American student came to my office and showed me a name and e-mail address of a young female student written on his notebook. I recognized the girl as another student who is doing poorly in my class. It was obvious that she gave him the info because she needs help, but he insisted that she was interested in cybersex. I asked him if she had said something; he said no, he just knew. I told him she isn't doing well in class and just needs some help from someone who is doing better. I told him not to bring up sex with this girl, but he didn't believe me and left. The guy must be 70. Isn't it funny that even at death's door, men still think women want them?
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